A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is she, who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls (proverb). True, women today are much more empowered and the world business is on the search for talented women business leaders.
Today women business leaders are leading the top business houses like Indira Nooyi leading Pepsico, General Motors led by Mary Barra, Yahoo led by Marissa Mayer, COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg, our own Indian bank ICICI led by Chanda Kochhar, Axis Bank’s Shikha Sharma, SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya and the list goes on.
According to a recent research report by world’s leading consultant’s McKinsey and Company, companies run by Women CEO’s are more profitable than companies led by their male counterparts.
Recently SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has mandated that the board of every listed company should have at least one woman director.
Indianboards.com, a joint initiative of Prime Database and NSE, has found that roughly two-thirds of Indian companies (966 out of the 1,456 NSE-listed entities) do not have a woman director. If these positions are to be filled up, about 966 directorship positions will open up for women in the next seven months.
There are 9,009 persons occupying a total of 11,596 directorships in NSE-listed companies. Of these, only 597 positions are held by women, a mere 5.1 percent. India Inc needs more women at the top!
Even the startups in India are promoting women founders. The likes of Shradha Sharma of yourstory and even I have covered story of a successful women entrepreneur in one of my earlier posts are few of the real life examples of women empowerment.
CII’s (Confederation of Indian Industry) Kerala Unit has introduced a remarkable initiative by conducting a three-day training camp for women so that they can qualify as women directors. As Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon says “there is a limited pool to choose from as women in leadership positions are few in India”. The training’s will help them to fill up those vacant positions in the boardroom.
For the women entrepreneurs to be on the limelight they need proper mentoring, support from the society/family and funding. The gender diversity has to start from the education institutions. The efforts from institutions like IIM’s and IIT’s to induct more girls into their course are in the right direction. The stories of these girls being placed in the best of business houses will be an inspiration for all.
It’s time to understand that gender diversity brings more creative decision-making as well as organized managerial skills. More women needs to make it from the classrooms to boardrooms. The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2014 is “Equality for Women is Progress for All”. The theme is true if we consider all the examples. But there is a long way to go still. We have debated enough on women reservation and empowerment, now it’s time to set the road clear and to deliver the master plan. Hope we see more women leaders in the upcoming general elections too and who knows having a women prime minister for India is not too far.
Happy Women’s Day. Wishing you a day as beautiful as you are.
In case you missed the Google Doodle for International Womens Day, Do check it out at Google.com. A nice video is waiting for you!